The FDA Has a New Warning for You About This Medication and COVID

The agency recently issued a statement about this potentially deadly drug.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved one antiviral drug called Veklury (widely known as remdesivir) to treat COVID. With only one approved drug out there, there have been a lot of risky recommendations on the internet about how to treat or prevent the virus that have proved extremely dangerous, including drinking bleach or colloidal silver. But now, people seem to be leaning on another medication to prevent or treat COVID in all the wrong ways, leading the FDA to release a new warning, noting that "using any treatment for COVID that's not approved or authorized by the FDA, unless part of a clinical trial, can cause serious harm." Read on to discover what drug the FDA has cautioned Americans to "never use" for COVID, and for more health-related news, check out The FDA Released a New Warning About This OTC Pain Reliever.

The FDA is warning you to "never use" ivermectin to fight or prevent COVID.

woman wearing mask, sick person opening medicine
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The FDA says anyone looking to prevent or fight COVID should not take ivermectin, a drug approved by the FDA to treat people with parasitic conditions. "Ivermectin tablets are approved at very specific doses for some parasitic worms, and there are topical (on the skin) formulations for head lice and skin conditions like rosacea," the FDA warned in Mar. 2021.

The agency also explained that ivermectin, which is not used to treat viruses, can "cause serious harm" if taken in large doses. The drug must be taken "exactly as prescribed," they point out.

Even if someone chooses to take an approved dose of the drug for the proper purposes, ivermectin can be dangerous to mix with other medications, like blood thinners. Overdosing on ivermectin is also possible and could result in "nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, allergic reactions, dizziness, problems with balance, seizures, coma and even death," the FDA warns.

And for more allergies to be aware of, check out If You're Allergic to 1 of These 2 Things, Beware Which Vaccine You Get.

People have been taking forms of ivermectin for COVID that are intended for animals.

sick man, patient in hospital, sitting in hospital room
Marcos Mesa Sam Wordley / Shutterstock

Some forms of ivermectin are used to prevent heartworm disease and parasites in animals, both externally and internally. And patients have reportedly been hospitalized after "self-medicating with ivermectin intended for horses," according to the FDA.

"Ivermectin preparations for animals are very different from those approved for humans. It's important to note that these products are different from the ones for people, and safe when used as prescribed for animals, only," the FDA says. The agency notes that, in general, it's important to "never use medications intended for animals on yourself."

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The National Institutes of Health issued a similar warning about ivermectin.

Man at doctor's office

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) also issued a warning about ivermectin, saying it is "not approved by the FDA for the treatment of any viral infection."

The institute's COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel is looking for sufficient data to determine whether ivermectin could be used to treat or prevent the virus, they noted in February. There have been some smaller studies done on the drug, but the NIH says, "Some clinical studies showed no benefits or worsening of disease after ivermectin use, whereas others reported shorter time to resolution of disease manifestations that were attributed to COVID-19, greater reduction in inflammatory marker levels, shorter time to viral clearance,or lower mortality rates in patients who received ivermectin than in patients who received comparator drugs or placebo."

Noting that "most of these studies had incomplete information and significant methodological limitations," the NIH says it's difficult to make a conclusion at this time.

And for another drug to be aware of amid COVID, find out why This Common Medication Can Make Your Vaccine Less Effective, Study Says.

Pharmaceutical companies have also warned that data doesn't currently support the "safety and efficacy" of ivermectin for COVID.

pharmaceutical drugs

In February, pharmaceutical company Merck published a statement confirming its take on the use of ivermectin during the COVID pandemic. The company revealed that their analysis proved that there was "no scientific basis" for use of ivermectin against COVID-19, citing "a concerning lack of safety data in the majority of studies." Its only approved use in the U.S. is as an antiparasitic drug to treat infections that arise from roundworms and other parasites, Merck confirmed, noting they sell it under the brand name Stromectol.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to advise that the best way to protect yourself against COVID is to wear a mask, keep six feet apart from others outside of your household who are not vaccinated, and get your shot when you can.

And for another drug you should be aware of, check out If You Have This in Your Medicine Cabinet, the FDA Says to Get Rid of It.

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